By Philip Yaffe Over the past 40-plus decades as a journalist and advertising communication specialist, I have frequently been informed that I’m an exceptionally good writer by academics, buddies, peers, and customers. But a superb author is wasnted generally by me; actually, I used be considered a very negative one. What exactly occurred to result in this change that was enormous? (more…)
Like the others, I thought that it was a dream when I found out that I had Stage 2 breast cancer back in February of 2005. It was totally unbelievable that this could happen to me as my sister had been diagnosed with this same disease and went through all of the treatments a few years earlier at the age of 37. How could two sisters be so unlucky? Following her diagnosis, I had been going for a yearly mammogram which was how the lump was discovered. Following that initial diagnosis, I had four rounds of chemotherapy, 35 radiation treatments, six surgeries, and a double mastectomy Tram Flap reconstruction in 2010. Those early years were a blur. We had genetic testing done and it was determined that our cancer was hereditary – the BRCA1 gene, three of four siblings carry the gene (all three of which have had cancer, one twice), and that it is more common than we think. It was hard to believe that this was even happening. When I look back at the last nine years I remember that they were filled with what seemed like endless doctor’s appointments, travel on the highway to and from Toronto for tests, scans, MRIs and surgeries. It has also been a road filled with many emotions – highs and lows, not only for myself, but for my husband, my two daughters, my parents, members of my family, and our many wonderful friends and co-workers who supported us through the good and notso- good times. I am grateful to my husband and daughters who have and continue to be my rock! I am honoured to have been asked to take part in this fundraising initiative to raise awareness and funds for the Angels in Pink Fund of the Northern Care Cancer Foundation. My cancer was detected early because of initiatives such as this one. This is not a women’s disease or an individual disease – it affects everyone around you who you love, no matter what age. My husband and I now worry about our daughters who are at the age where they potentially could be at risk for this very disease so this cause – early detection is close to my heart. I am a survivor because of the treatment, care and love that I received and now live each day to the fullest. Fundraisers such as this one make it possible for continued research and innovation in treatment. We can make a difference!
Donna-Lynn Freeland (Diagnoses at 46) Executive Assistant to the director of HR and Organizational Development, City of Greater Sudbury